Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser


As stated in Goodreads:

Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.

So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all.

Caitlin and Finn have been best friends since way back when, but when Finn shows up on Caitlin’s doorstep with the son he’s wanted for kidnapping, demands that she hide them from the authorities, and threatens to reveal a secret that could destroy her own family if she doesn’t, Caitlin faces an impossible choice.

Told through alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin, Almost Missed You is a powerful story of a mother’s love, a husband’s betrayal, connections that maybe should have been missed, secrets that perhaps shouldn’t have been kept, and spaces between what’s meant to be and what might have been.

My thoughts:

While on a vacation solo, Violet meets a stranger she falls for and cannot forget.  All she knows is that they both live in the same city but they have no way to reach each other.  For several years Violet pines for this mystery stranger, wondering what could have been, and one day an ad appeared in the local paper describing her and their brief encounter on vacation and asking her to meet him.  The connection survived the set of time and their love grows: this second chance meeting was a sign for Violet that she and Finn, her mystery man, were meant to be.

Violet and Finn, now happily married, take their 3 year old adored son, Bear, to the beach where they first met for a special vacation, and while Violet is relaxing at the ocean, Finn and Bear mysteriously disappear without a trace.

Caitlin, Finn’s old friend from high school, and her husband George and their twins live next door to Violet and Finn back home.  Finn and Bear shockingly appear in Caitlin’s house asking her to hide them, and threatening to blackmail her with secrets that will ruin her family.

Violet is alone and distraught waiting for her son to be located, Finn is desperate and looking for a safe place where he can think things through, and Caitlin is faced with harboring a kidnapper and his son or divulging secrets that will surely ruin her marriage.

This gut wrenching debut is fast paced and well written as the details of the past trickle in and the truth is revealed.  The tangled web of lies by omission has the lives of Violet and Finn along with friends Caitlin and George hanging in the balance.  “All the wrong people know all the wrong secrets” and in Almost Missed You, author Jessica Strawser skillfully shows us the price one pays for keeping it under wraps in this suspenseful story of love, loss and the quest for a happy life.

Buy your copy of Almost Missed You HERE.

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Jessica Strawser for providing me with an ARC.


By day, Jessica Strawser is the Editorial Director of Writer’s Digest magazine, North America’s leading publication for aspiring and working writers since 1920. By night, she is a fiction writer with a debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, forthcoming in 2017 from St. Martin’s Press and another stand-alone novel to follow in 2018. And by the minute, she is a proud wife and mom to two super sweet and super young kids in Cincinnati, Ohio.

A Pittsburgh native and “Outstanding Senior” graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, she counts her New York Times Modern Love essay and her Writer’s Digest cover interviews with such luminaries as Alice Walker, Anne Tyler and David Sedaris among her career highlights.

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